Hydro One customers in Erin, Mapleton may get higher bills

Residents in Erin and Mapleton  could be paying more for electricity if a Hydro One  application is approved by the Ontario Energy Board.
The aim of Hydro One’s application is to “harmonize or consolidate” distribution rates across the province, which have varied and fluctuated since the company acquired utilities from municipalities in 2000.
Currently, Hydro One administers more than 280 rate classes in 318 Ontario communities.
“All customers deserve fair, reasonable and affordable rates,” a Hydro One press release states. “In order for rates to be fair, they must be consistently applied across our customer base.”
If approved, the rate change application (filed on Jan. 14) will mean an average increase of 1.3% on the total bill in 2008 for an average residential customer – defined as a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month.
“Under this rate structure, all customers of the same rate class will be charged the same delivery rates, regardless of where they live,” the press release states.
In Mapleton, the average increase for customers using 1,000kWh per month will be 8.9 per cent on the total bill over one year, and a 14.8 per cent increase at the end of four years. In Erin  the average one-year increase would be 1.7 per cent, and a 4.5 percent increase over four years.
Customers should keep in mind the above increases are based on 1,000kWh per month. The Ontario Energy Board defines an average customer as a residential customer using 1,000kWh per month, but Hydro One’s average general service customer consumes 2,000kWh per month.
Residential customers who use more than 1,000kWh per month may see slightly lower impacts than noted above, and customers who use less than 1,000kWh per month may see slightly higher impacts than noted above.
The increased charges, if approved by the energy board,  will appear in the “delivery” section of monthly bills.
Although Hydro One’s application includes an effective date of May 1, customers likely will not see any change on their utility bills until September. For more information about Hydro One’s application or to participate in the process, visit www.oeb.gov.on.ca. More information can also be found at hydroonenet-works.com.